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6/30/09 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, June 30th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

The shit that is PISSING ME OFF these days.

1. A few weeks ago, Fred was home from work and I was making dinner or puttering around the house or sitting on my ass in front of the computer, I don’t remember what exactly I was doing, and it’s not important (and yet I cannot seem to stop blathering about it. Was I wiping down the counters? Scrubbing the toilet? Talking to a cat? IT’S A MYSTERY.). The doorbell rang, and Fred went off to answer it. I didn’t concern myself, because I figured it was someone wanting to buy eggs. A minute later, Fred came in and reached for his wallet.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Remember Woody?” he said. “The guy who moved us here from Madison? From Woody’s Moving?”

“Yeah…?”

“Well, his truck ran out of gas, and he needs to borrow some money.”

I looked out the window. “His truck ran out of gas in our driveway?”

“No, not that truck. His moving truck, it’s down the road a ways and he ran out of gas. He forgot his wallet at home, and he doesn’t have his ATM card with him.”

“Then why doesn’t he drive home and get his wallet?” I asked.

Fred responded with something that I don’t recall. He continued digging through his wallet.

“I don’t like this,” I said. “Tell him we don’t have any cash.”

“Bessie,” Fred said. “He moved us into this house!”

I misunderstood, and flipped out. “Oh, he MOVED us? So, what, we OWE him? FUCK that!”

“No, he moved us, so he knows what we have. He knows we’re not poor!”

Which, in retrospect, was a dumb argument because most of the time we really don’t have much cash around the house. But that’s neither here nor there.

Woody had asked for $40; Fred gave him $30. Woody assured Fred that he’d be back the next day, asked what time would be best (Fred told him “After 3:30.” “In other words,” I said. “‘My wife will be here alone until 3:30. Feel free to drop by, tie her up, and rob us!'”). Woody thanked Fred profusely and then left.

We haven’t seen Woody since, and it’s been at least a month. I think you can imagine my shock.

I’ve already told Fred that the NEXT time someone stops by to ask us for money, I’m going to give them the phone number for Woody’s Moving Service and tell them to get it from HIM.

Honestly, I’m not sure why this has me so pissed off, but when I think about it (and I only think about it occasionally, I don’t sit around and think about it all the time), I FUME. We’ve had people ask us for money, and have given it willingly knowing (despite their assurances) that we’d never see it again. The Walkin’ Dude (also here, here, and here; he hasn’t been back since that last one), if you’ll recall, got twenty bucks or so from us, and thought that we were his fucking gravy train. That didn’t piss me off (well, except the part where he didn’t have the good sense to be embarrassed and stay the fuck away), just annoyed me a little.

This thing with Woody, though, even though I knew we’d never see that $30 again, well – Woody better not show his fucking face around here again, because I am the shy and retiring type (stop laughing!), but I will tell Woody to go fuck himself and to get the fuck off my porch and not come back and I very well might bitch-slap him in the process.

2. Robert the egg-buying man. Truth be told, this doesn’t piss me off, just more annoys me. Robert the egg-buying man loves our eggs. LOVES THEM. He stopped by one day and bought all the eggs we had on hand, and then he asked Fred if we could have 10 dozen eggs by the following Friday. Fred told him that we likely could, and Robert tEBM said that he’d be by Friday afternoon.

We made sure to save 10 dozen eggs for him, but Robert tEBM never showed up. So we sold the fucking eggs. He showed up a week later and apologized, saying that since the weather had been non-rainy, he’d been trying to catch up on work. Fair enough, I s’pose, though I’m not sure how much time it takes to swing by and buy some eggs THAT ARE BEING HELD ESPECIALLY FOR YOU.

Then, last week Robert tEBM stopped by and bought all the eggs we had on hand (a couple dozen, I think) and asked Fred if we could save him three dozen eggs for Sunday. Because we are stupid and trusting, we did.

Never showed up. WHAT A SHOCK.

We are no longer going to save eggs for Robert tEBM unless he pays for them in advance. Fucker.

3. Back when Gmail was new and you had to have an INVITATION to sign up for it (November 2004, this was. Damn. That’s like 300 years ago in internet years!), I signed up not only for the email address I use all the time (mizrobyn), I also signed up for robyn.anderson, not knowing what I’d use it for, but figuring it’d be handy to have as a backup email. Well, I don’t use it at all, though I check it every couple of weeks just to see (I think I’ve used it in a few different places where I signed up for message boards or whatever). There was never anything much in the in box, until late last year. Apparently when you sign up for a user name with Gmail, if there’s a period in the user name anywhere, Gmail doesn’t really “count” it. So when I signed up for robyn.anderson, I also got robynanderson by default. And there are Robyn Andersons ALL OVER THE FUCKING PLACE who just ADORE giving out that email address as their own.

There’s a Robyn Anderson in Canada who’s going to school to be a teacher, and I ended up on her study group’s email loop for a while. There’s a Robyn Anderson in Illinois who’ll be attending her reunion in Dallas this summer – her mother was nice enough to forward her flight information to me. I got her email confirmation from American Airlines confirming that she’s signed up for their frequent flyer program, too. I get business emails, I got an email asking how I was doing, since I was apparently having a problem pregnancy and confined to my bed and who on earth was taking care of my two young children, anyway?

You know, I know Robyn Anderson is not an uncommon name but GODDAMN, people. When you’re giving out your email address to people, you think you could maybe double-check that you’re giving it to them correctly???

4. Assfucks on eBay that bid on shit, get the winning bid and then don’t bother to pay for what they won, or for that matter, to even so much as let you know they’re no longer interested. And you can apparently no longer leave negative feedback for buyers. That’s some fucking horseshit.

5. On Friday, Fred picked all the zucchini and yellow squash in the garden. And then he sprayed them to kill the squash bugs that have started showing up, which meant he couldn’t pick them again for two days. Yesterday when he got home from work, he went out to pick the squash and zucchini and holy SHIT that stuff grows fast. We ended up with a ton of squash and zucchini, and some of the zucchini was so big that I ended up putting it to the side to feed to the chickens. The chickens LOVE squash and zucchini from the garden, it’s one of their favorite things to eat. This doesn’t really go under the heading of things that piss me off, I guess – it goes under the heading of a win/ win situation. I didn’t have to mess with squash and zucchini for a few days, now I’ve got enough to dice and freeze AND enough to make the chickens (and dogs, for that matter) happy! Also, Fred’s started harvesting the corn and I give the ears that are half-eaten by bugs to the chickens, and they must have thought yesterday was their BIRTHDAY. I tossed several ears to them, and then had to tell George to back off because apparently dogs are rather fond of corn on the cob, too, and he was grabbing all the corn he could get his mouth on and carrying them off to his eatin’ spot, then going back for more WITHOUT EATING WHAT HE’D ALREADY GOTTEN.

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Corn hoarder.

(Edited to add: Giving corn on the cob to dogs, apparently not a good idea. DAMNIT. When will I learn to Google this stuff first??)

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Someone mentioned yesterday that I hardly ever talk about Creed or post pictures of him. That’s true – but in my defense, (1) It’s hard to get decent pictures of black cats and (2) That little monkey hardly ever holds still. I snap plenty of pictures of him, they just never come out!

But in any case, today will be all about Creed. Here are some fun facts about the sweet little guy:

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1. He lurrrrrves his brudder and sister. LURVES them. He loves to play-fight with them, snuggle up with them and sleep, follow them around to see what they’re doing. If they’re in a room where he is not, and he doesn’t know where they are, you can hear him calling out to them with a plaintive “Where ARE you? I’m lonely!” cry.

2. If he’s feeling playful and you bend down to pet him or pick him up, he’ll stand up on his back legs and wave his front paws around like he’s a wee boxer. It’s severely cute, and I’ve tried and tried to get it on camera, but have had no luck as of yet.

3. He’s a snuggler – there’s nothing he loves more than to curl up beside you and go to sleep. Unlike Dwight, who has to be laying on top of you to go to sleep, Creed will curl up next to you, just barely touching you, and drift off to sleep. If you pet him while he’s sleeping, he reaches one paw out to touch you without ever waking up.

4. He is both very laid-back (I put him on top of Mister Boogers yesterday just to see what would happen, and he and Mister Boogers looked at each other for a few moments, then Creed hopped down and moseyed off to see what there was to be seen) and prone to go ::FLOOF:: at the drop of a hat. Any unexpected noise, any cat running by suddenly, and ::FLOOF:: he goes.

5. He’s the current produce inspector at our house, and he takes his job very seriously.

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The Creed Cave. It’s the perfect size for him!

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Look how annoyed they are with me. “Okay FINE, we’ll pose together. Can you just TAKE the picture and get it over with??”

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Note please that I have to put the keyboard up against the monitor when I’m not using it, because the kittens will tromp all over it.

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Really? You think you wanna mess with Sheriff Mama? Are you SURE?

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Previously
2008: I’ve warned Nance that the house is a pig sty, but I don’t think she believes me.
2007: No entry.
2006: Must be ’cause I’m so approachable.
2005: Hobbies.
2004: Fred calls Miz Poo “Musty.”
2003: He sighed. “Because everybody knows that 256 (the total number of pages in the book) is 2 to the 8th, which is 2 to the 6th times two squared, which is 64 times 4, so you should print four blocks of 64 pages.”
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Folks, it’s Dumbass Day.

6/29/09 – Monday

by @ Monday, June 29th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life

In the Crooked Acres kitchen this weekend:

Made zucchini chocolate chip cookies. Neither of us cared for them, so after we each ate two (the second one to make sure our first impression was correct, of course) I packed them into a freezer bag ’til we have pigs again.

Made St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake (not the Paula Deen version). Neither of us cared for it, so after we each took a few bites, I packed THAT into the freezer bags for the future pigs, too.

Made Cheese Straws. We both liked them – Fred liked them more than I did, I think. I do believe that I’ll mess with trying different kinds of cheeses and more crushed red pepper, in the future. They were very simple to make, and I recommend them.

Made blueberry muffins batter. I love blueberries, and I’m always willing to try new blueberry muffin recipes, and I really liked the idea of keeping the batter in the fridge and making one or two muffins fresh, each morning (or whenever I’m having the hankering for fresh blueberry muffins). I made the batter on Saturday and then Sunday morning scooped out some batter and made fresh muffins for breakfast. I did forget to sprinkle sugar on the top before I baked, but I found my muffin just fine without the extra sugar. Fred gave his muffin two thumbs up, as well. As a note, it’s a stiffer dough* than I expected, especially after sitting in the fridge overnight. Makes a damn fine muffin, though!

Canned four quarts of green beans. Last year I froze all our green beans; this year I’m canning them so we’ll have more room in the freezer. We’re estimating needing about 40 quarts of green beans for the year, and I’ve got about 2/3 of that already.

Diced and froze ten tons of yellow summer squash and zucchini. None of the usual sites online, none of the canning and freezing books, no one nowhere recommends saving yellow summer squash or zucchini. What I’ve found, however, is that you can dice both, put them in food saver bags and then freeze them. Then you can thaw them, toss them in a pan with chopped onion and garlic, add cherry tomatoes (which you’ve also frozen in food saver bags over the summer) and maybe chopped okra (ditto), sprinkle with salt and pepper and maybe a pinch of crushed red pepper, and it’s a perfectly good side dish. Not as good as fresh, but it’s certainly good in its own right.

Also, last weekend I made a Butterfinger Cake, and holy COW was it good! Fred took one bite and declared it in the running to take for Christmas dinner this year (last year’s #1 candidate was Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding, which is not what he ended up taking, if I recall correctly). Because he can never leave well enough alone, he’s declared that it would be even better if we made Devil’s Food Cake from scratch, and used real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. We’ll see about that. (One year when we were at Fred’s father’s house on Christmas Eve. Fred’s sister asked her son (L0gan) to pass the “whipped cream”, meaning the Cool Whip, and her son responded “That’s not real whipped cream!” Fred looked all proud that L0gan knows what fine quality food really is, when L0gan went on to say “Real whipped cream comes in a spray can!” HA.)

*Snicker.

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Saturday night, Fred and I were in the big chicken yard trying to get some chickens out from under the coop. Recently we moved a bunch of younger chickens from the maternity yard to the big yard, and about a dozen of them have taken to sleeping under the coop at night, instead of going into the coop with the rest of the chickens. We’ve been letting them sleep under the coop because we figured they’ve got George and Gracie to protect them, but we talked about it Saturday afternoon and decided that’s probably not a good habit to get into. It’s entirely possible that George and Gracie could be at the back of the back forty, and something could get inside the fence and go after the chickens. Not likely, but possible.

So when it was mostly dark Saturday evening, Fred used the hose to spray water under the big coop, and I stood at the front of the coop, waiting to herd the chickens into the coop. George and Gracie stood and supervised, and occasionally gave each other looks like “What are these idiots doing NOW?”

Fred and I were both standing in front of the coop (the herding of the chickens wasn’t going well, because the little shits would come out to escape the water from the hose, then zip back underneath the coop) when both dogs started barking their serious take-no-prisoners bark. We turned and looked, and someone was walking toward the big chicken yard.

It turned out to be one of our regular egg customers, stopping to see if we had eggs. Fred told him that we were sold out, and when George and Gracie stopped barking once Fred started talking to the guy, but they were agitated the entire time the guy was there.

Our dogs are awfully sweet and it amazes me that anyone could be scared of them, but I have to admit that when they bark with their serious bark, they can sound kinda scary.

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“We was gonna mess that guy UP!”

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“FIRST I was gonna jump up and down right in front of him! Then I was gonna sniff his butt! And then I was gonna lick behind his knees! He didn’t have no chance!”

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On Friday, I covered for the usual Friday morning volunteer at the pet store. When I was done there, I went over to Sam’s Club to pick up the stuff on my Sam’s list. Nothing important, just a few things I’ve been needing to pick up.

I spent LESS THAN $100 at Sam’s. I had no idea that was possible, much less allowed! I was half afraid that they’d stop me on the way out and force me to go back and buy a 30-count pack of toilet paper just to get me over that $100 mark.

They just glanced at my receipt and waved me on through, though. It’s a miracle!

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As I type this, Dwight is running around with a toy in his mouth, growling at any other feline who so much as looks in his direction.

What’s cuter than a growling kitten? NOTHING.

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Phyllis gets in her recommended daily allowance of cardboard.

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“Hey! Leave some for the rest of us, wouldya?”

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Dwight flops down on Fred for his nightly ear-rubbing and chin-scratching.

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Pretty Phyllis.

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“Someone is going to PAY for this.”

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: Gives new meaning to the term of endearment “shithead”, doesn’t it?
2006: No entry.
2005: I said “You shut up, motherfucker, or I’ll unleash my wifely instincts on you” and he said “Shut your unmaternal mouth, woman.”
2004: Wound report: It’s sensitive and weepy. Just like me!
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Have you ever felt like your hair looks like a really bad wig?

6/26/09 – Friday

by @ Friday, June 26th, 2009. Filed under CAE, Fostering, Life

Guys, I’m aware that Bloglines isn’t showing my latest entries, but I have no clue on earth how to fix that. I can tell you that Google Reader is showing my entries just fine. I updated to the latest WordPress, thinking that perhaps that was the issue, but Bloglines still doesn’t seem to be working with my RSS feed.

The only other thing I can think of is that since my template is elderly, perhaps Bloglines doesn’t like the RSS feed… but I don’t know that that makes sense. I’ll try switching to the newer template (the one I used last month and then discarded because I couldn’t figure out how to force it to show my banner at the top) this weekend and testing it. If that’s the issue, then I’ll look for a newer template instead of sticking with this old one. It could take time, though, so be patient!

(Or switch to Google Reader? 🙂 )

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Boy, Michael Jackson – what a shock, huh? I just happened to glance at my updated stuff in Google Reader yesterday afternoon, and saw the dlisted headline.

Farrah Fawcett did not come as a huge shock, she’s been so sick. Ed McMahon did not come as a shock, he’d hit the “He’s lived a good long life” stage of his life. But Michael Jackson? Wasn’t expecting that!

(When I announced to Fred that Michael Jackson had died and he said “No way!” (which was also the reaction of my sister and Liz), I said “I wonder who the third will be?” and he said “Ed McMahon was the first, Michael Jackson was the third!” Oh, right. Forgot about Ed! He lived a good long life.)

I texted the news to my sister and Liz, and as I sent the text – Did you hear that Michael Jackson is dead? – I thought “This sounds like the beginning to a bad joke.” Sure enough, my sister said “I thought at first it was a joke, but wasn’t sure what the punch line was going to be!”

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No way of taking a train instead? Even driving a car across the entire country only takes four or five days. Just thinking here…

I don’t know that it’s possible to take a train from here to Maine – that’d be something worth checking into, for sure! I think I mentioned that if I had to do it again, and if I’d realized when my flight was first delayed that I was going to end up spending the night in the airport, I would have rented a car and driven from DC. Now I’m wondering if there’s a train from DC to Boston (surely there is?) – I could have taken that and then the train from Boston to Portland. Hmm… I’m not going to say I’ll keep those ideas in mind for next time ’cause there ain’t GONNA be a next time. I’m only flying early morning flights from here on out!

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I was stuck at Narita International Airport in Japan for 24 whole hours and on top of my deafness and ASL, I couldn’t find anyone who understood English. Based on my harrowing experience (mostly due to exhaustion and sleep deprivation from flying for 24 hours and no “American” food to be found), better at LaGuardia than Narita!

Oh lord, what a nightmare!!!

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My worst delay was coming home from Las Vegas- two hours on a Sunday night. Our flight didn’t land until after 2am in Edmonton. Did you know that everything except Burger King shuts down at 5 or 6pm in the International Terminal at McCarren? No, I didn’t either. You would think that a place that is as 24/7 as Vegas you could get something other than a Whopper on Sunday evening, but not so much.

This reminds me of years and years ago, when I had to spend the night at the Newark airport (that’s right, I slept in Newark!). It was to my utter amazement that all the stores and restaurants closed down early in the evening. I’d always thought that airports were up and running 24/7, including the stores and restaurants! Who knew?

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But my question is, would it have been faster for you in the end, to have just driven the distance?

and

Next time DRIVE trust me it will be faster. I avoid flying at all costs.

It would have taken me two entire days to drive from here to Maine – I actually did it back in… oh, I don’t remember. 2000, or thereabouts. It wasn’t a bad drive, but it also wasn’t a fun drive, especially by myself! And I’ve driven through Pennsylvania three or four times, and every single time I drove through the state of Pennsylvania, it was to the tune of horrific torrential rains. Pennsylvania doesn’t think I should be driving in their state, obviously.

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You really ought to put out a bulletin before you fly anywhere to see which readers are in the area. Then heck, take them up on the offer of staying with them! A good way to see the USA?

I always say (or at least I’ve said once or twice in the past) that I’d love to drive across the country, stopping regularly to have mini-Bitchypoo conventions! Good way to see the country, good way to meet y’all. 🙂

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I guess only you were allowed to drive and if not if you dared to pull over to switch drivers you’d NEVER get someone to let you back into traffic.

Yeah, I was the only driver on the rental agreement, so I didn’t dare to let anyone else drive – but I also didn’t want to chance getting off the road, switching seats, and then not being able to pull back into traffic. And since I was mostly dry-heaving AND we were moving along at a crawl, I was okay with continuing to drive.

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I know this has been discussed, but I haven’t paid attention because I don’t currently have a cat. Anyway, a friend of mine has a problem with her cat peeing all over the house (yes, it’s a clean litterbox). The vet says it isn’t a physical problem and her solution is to make her an outside cat. My friend would like that to be a last resort (lots of reasons). Any thoughts or helpful hints? Her other friends have told her to have the cat put to sleep.

I would suggest Feliway, but to be honest, I don’t think it really makes a difference. I wish it did, but it just doesn’t seem to, at least in our house.

Would your friend’s vet be open to prescribing kitty Valium for your friend’s cat? Maybe if the pattern of spraying could be broken, it would help stop the spraying.

Another idea (I don’t remember where I read this, and I haven’t tried it myself, so take it with a grain of salt) is to put the litterbox where the cat tends to pee (I know you said it’s peeing all over the house, but perhaps it has a particular favorite spot?), then when the cat starts using the litter box, move it slowly toward the preferred location. I don’t know, though – if your friend has kids, that might not be a feasible solution.

Readers? Suggestions?

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Off topic, but have you had a problem with older cats pooping on the carpet. My older cat Angel has done this 3 times. If you have had this problem, what did you use to clean it up?

Mr. Fancypants (god rest his soul, I assume) expressed his displeasure by pooping on the rug near the litter box. And many things displeased him.

(Just thinking about it REALLY pisses me off. That fucking bastard. He sure was a character, though.)

We’d remove what we could of the waste, dab at the spot with a warm damp cloth, and then we used Resolve Spot & Stain Carpet cleaner. We used Oxi-Clean from time to time, but I really think the Resolve did a better job, and it was what we always reached for first.

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Another off topic, but I thought you might enjoy this story about a chicken surviving a tornado.

Awww, good for Momma hen! They need to name that hen Lucky!

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One morning I woke up with a creepy feeling that I ignored. Finally opened my eyes to see a spider hot-footing it down my arm. I jumped out of bed and issued loud, guttural sounds while doing the panic dance. I looked all through the bed clothes with Robert helping, but nothing. I went to the bathroom and on the way back to bed, looked down to see the spider beat-feeting it up my pajamas leg. Again, loud guttural (what happens to language? why does it go away?) sounds and the panic dance. This time, I ripped the PJs off and Robert corralled the spider in a drinking glass and took it outside. It took him a full day to admit it was a brown recluse.

I hope it has gone back to its reclusive ways. Or I’ll be shooting a spider in my pajamas!

(That last sentence reminds of the Groucho Marx joke, “Yesterday I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.”)

It is to my utter horror that I went to look at pictures of Brown Recluses, and I’m 99.3% sure I’ve seen those fucking things around here, and further that I think I saw one in the garden yesterday.

Pardon me while I shudder and run around in circles.

The problem is that they’re pretty generic-looking spiders, and I don’t know that I’d really be able to tell them apart from an ordinary garden spider without getting close up and personal. I prefer not to do that, thank you.

I just finished, a couple of days ago, the Lisa Gardner book Say Goodbye. It told me far more about spiders in the south than I ever wanted to know.

If you want some creepy reading, go ahead and Google up “Black widows as pets” (PEOPLE KEEP BLACK WIDOWS AS PETS I SHIT YOU NOT) and if you have a strong stomach, check out “Brown recluse bites.”

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The lack of photos of the gigantic twirly-eyed spider was noted and very much appreciated!!

Only ’cause I didn’t have the camera with me, I assure you. I’ve been pretty lax with the bug pictures this year, haven’t I?

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What was UP with Jacqueline’s lips?! When she had them plumped up during the show they looked ok. Last night her top lip was so puffy I thought it might be hives or something.

I actually didn’t notice her lips, I’ll have to look closer when I watch the second part of the reunion later today!

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The foster kittens are doing well. Phyllis the cranky (it’s really too bad the name “Angela” was taken, because it would have been perfect for her, she’s TOTALLY Angela from The Office!) is still cranky if you pick her up or pet her for too long or look at her the wrong way, but she’s also got snugglebug tendencies. I took a nap yesterday afternoon, and she climbed up on me (I barely felt her laying on me, she’s such a tiny thing!) and napped as well. All three kittens are inordinately interested in sticking their heads in our mouths, I don’t know if they’re trying to figure out what we’ve been eating or just wondering if they could fit in our mouths (I bet Phyllis could come close) or what.

They’re all three such sweet things (Dwight LOVES Fred, climbs up into his lap every evening when we’re watching TV), and so laid-back that I know they’ll get adopted quickly.

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Newt has apparently located the coolest spot in the house. Most days he can be found in this corner of the kitchen, snuggled up behind the mixer.

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Previously
2008: I am fully aware that y’all are going to tell me that the shirt is too big, but what you need to keep in mind is SHUT UP.
2007: I figure it’s the goddamn circle of life and all that.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: I know I did the same lazy-ass, stupid-ass shit, and in retrospect she didn’t beat me nearly enough.
2002: Fred: Hey. You’re married to an old white man.
2001: No entry.
2000: I’m having a klutzy day.

6/25/09 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, June 25th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, Life, TV

So after Miz Poo drove me nuts all Tuesday night and a good part of Wednesday by howling, whining, and chatting, Fred called the vet to find out that she was likely having a reaction to the medication. One of the side effects of the medication she was on (at least in humans) is that it makes you “talkative”, and I’d say that that’s for sure what was going on with Miz Poo. We stopped the medication, and will go back in a few days to get Elavil for her.

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This has been the week of the spider for me. Monday and Tuesday mornings, I went out to weed the tomato rows. Monday, I was about halfway down the first row of tomatoes, and as I pulled a huge handful of weeds out from under a huge tomato plant, a garden spider the size of my hand came sauntering out.

“What up, bitch?” he said, his 73 eyeballs glittering at me.

“I am not scared of you,” I said, keeping a respectful distance. “For I know you are but a helpful garden spider, hanging out under the plants and eating all the bugs that try to eat my tomatoes. I appreciate that. But now I’m going to use this hand hoe to herd you over to the pepper plants while I finish weeding under the tomatoes, and then you can return home. You might have to rebuild your web, if you have one, though. Sorry ’bout that.”

Then I leaned down and waved my hand hoe behind the spider, and he saw it with his 73 glittering eyes, and he moved in the direction of the pepper plants. I took my eye off him for one second, and he immediately zagged left and began skittering up my boot.

I reacted calmly, of course. I mean, it’s only a SPIDER.

The size of my hand.

With 73 glittering eyeballs.

Making a sound of horror, I flailed about, threw my hand hoe at my boot, and danced a getitoffme! GETITOFFME! jig. The spider landed near a pepper plant and rolled his eyeballs at me (which took some time, as you can imagine). I looked around to make sure that no one had seen me, wiped off the gash the hand hoe had left in my shin, and went back to weeding. The spider stayed under his pepper plant for a long time (I kept an eye on him), then disappeared. Maybe he was looking for friendlier pastures.

Tuesday morning I was walking across the yard toward the gate, on my way to the garden, when I glanced over at the cement pad and saw Tommy sitting there, watching something with interest. I went over to see what it was, and saw a beetle, the size of my thumb. It was caught up in a web, and as Tommy and I watched, a jet-black spider came sauntering out from under the metal hanging over the side of the cement pad, and began doing whatever the hell spiders do to their prey.

I waited until I saw the red hourglass shape on its abdomen, but I was pretty certain from the first glimpse that I was looking at a black widow. They are so fucking EVIL looking, those spiders. Once I saw the red hourglass, I kicked at it with my boot. I managed to miss the black widow completely, but I crushed the beetle and put it out of its misery. The black widow ran off and hid for a moment, then came rushing back out to see what the hell was going on.

Whereupon I crushed it with my boot.

Black widows like to hide under things, and I think what we need to do is pull up all the metal around the cement pad so that we don’t get a damn colony of them hiding under there. (Although I actually think that black widows are pretty solitary creatures.)

I’m sure tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and find a brown recluse on my freakin’ pillow or something.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Regarding the Gosselins (ie, Jon and Kate Plus Eight).

I have to say that I was kind of surprised to find that Jon and Kate Gosselin really are divorcing. I half expected they’d sucker everyone in with their ads about “Jon and Kate have made a decision!”, and then there would be Jon and Kate, all cozy on the interview couch, holding hands and talking about how they’ve started counseling. It’s disappointing that they’re divorcing, because obviously you want people to stay together, and you’d hope that the kids would be enough of an incentive for them to work through their issues.

I think that Kate is very sad about the split up, that she’s still working through it, and that Jon checked out a long time ago. I get the feeling that he’s ready to par-tay, and I expect to see lots of pictures of him partying it up with 21 year-olds.

(Earrings on Jon: Not a good look. Some men can carry it off. He’s not one of them.)

Also, I dearly wish Aunt Jodi and skeevy Uncle Kevin would shut their fucking faces instead of sounding off about every move Jon and Kate make.

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Annnnd regarding the NJ Housewives, Reunion Part 1 (and I’m sorry, how ridiculous is it that they’re splitting the reunions into two parts now? Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to see Part 2 tonight!).

Warning: Possible spoilers within.

I don’t know that that reunion was all that exciting – although it certainly looks like tomorrow night’s is going to involve everyone ganging up on Danielle.

While I understand Teresa’s defense of Joe (that he’s not homophobic and that he’s not “like that”, why some of his best friends are gay!) I know that I grew up saying “That’s gay” and “you’re so gay” and certainly NOT meaning anything homophobic by it. It’s sometimes a knee-jerk reaction on my part to reach for those phrases just because I grew up hearing and saying them for so many years, and you can train yourself to not say things like that, but you can’t stop them from coming to mind.

BUT. I also know BETTER THAN TO SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT WITH THE FREAKIN’ CAMERAS AROUND and in front of complete strangers. I’m glad Teresa apologized for him. Also – bless her heart, that woman has a disconnect between her brain and her mouth. “Cleansiness?” Wha-? Also, Teresa’s not invited over to my house anytime soon because I’m sure the state of my house (can’t remember the last time I cleaned the floors!) would horrify her. She’d probably start itching two inches inside the door.

Danielle looked like she’d rather be scrubbing Teresa’s floors with a toothbrush than be at that reunion. She didn’t have much to say, did she? And is it just me, or is her color odd? Too much fake tan? I wish someone had called her on her “I’ve never had plastic surgery aside from the bubbies!”, because come ON. She’s had at the very least an eye lift if not a face lift. Eyebrows don’t get hiked up that high by Mother Nature.

I like that Dina addressed the fact that her husband has no desire to be on the show. I don’t remember much about what Dina had to say, actually. She certainly is pretty, and I’ll reiterate – she SO looks like a young Lorraine Bracco.

Jacqueline and the crying over the miscarriages – I felt bad for her. You KNOW Bravo was hoping like hell she’d go into labor during the reunion. I’m surprised they didn’t tell her to call them when her water broke so they could do the reunion on the way to the hospital! Was it just me, or did she spend a lot of time NOT looking at Danielle?

Caroline just scares the hell out of me. She is the most intense little spitfire I’ve ever seen. I will never never mess with her family, she would fuck me UP. So sad to hear about her father in law (did you get the impression that Dina didn’t want to talk about that topic? She tried to change the topic a few times.). I’m anxious to see what has her teary-eyed in part 2 of the reunion! I get how tired they all are of hearing the mafia question, but COME ON – maybe the Manzos aren’t mobbed up, but five bucks says Teresa’s husband is!

Okay, that’s all I can think of. I wonder why they wouldn’t disclose where they were having the reunion? It’s not like it was airing live.

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The babies are back from their spaying & neutering/ id chipping/ rabies shots none the worse for wear. Phyllis was a little cranky last night (as the tiniest of the three, I think she feels a little more discomfort from the id chip and the rabies shot – plus let us not forget that her spaying was a more major surgery than the boys’ neutering. They might disagree with that, though.), and Creed spent the evening sleeping on Fred’s lap, but this morning they’re racing around as if nothing ever happened.

They need their second vaccination shots (which will be either today or tomorrow), and then it’s just a matter of waiting their turn ’til space opens up at PetSmart. There’s a flood of kittens right now, so it could be soon, or it could be a few weeks. All depends on where we are in the queue, and how fast adoptions go!

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Gone campin’.

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Dwight enjoys hanging off the cat tree.

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“Daaaaang, woman, you desperately need a pedicure!”

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Princess Phyllis.

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Smilin’ Joe.

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Previously
2008: I know, I’m lame. But you’ve gotta have priorities!
2007: Three times in the course of an hour, the same conversation, word-for-word, I swear it.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’d say this country is going to hell, but that handbasket sailed a loooooong time ago.
2004: Yes. Robyn DID recently learn how to do popup windows. Why do you ask?
2003: Do I LOOK like an outside kinda gal?
2002: Which is when I realized that I’d actually dreamed the conversation and hug and kiss.
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

6/24/09 – Vacation Recap, Part 3.

by @ Wednesday, June 24th, 2009. Filed under Fostering, vacation

For those of you who’ve asked, Fred hasn’t posted an entry in forever and a day because he says he has nothing to write about. When the time comes that he has something to write about, he will.

Also, he likes to torture y’all.

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It’s 3:47 am and I have gotten approximately 2 hours of sleep. Fred took Miz Poo to the vet yesterday and got a bottle of what is, ultimately, Valium for her. She’s been grooming her stomach to the point where she has no hair on it, and she started on her legs. Steroid shots haven’t helped, so we thought that putting her on something to break the behavior would help. Years ago we gave her Elavil for a few weeks, and it stopped her from doing whatever the fuck she was doing at the time.

Fred gave her her first dose of the medicine last night, and she hasn’t shut the fuck up for one fucking moment since.

I don’t mind telling you that I’m ready to burn the goddamn house down.

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Friday

Friday was all about waiting to hear if my oldest nephew and his girlfriend and their baby had arrived (they drove up from Maryland overnight). They arrived safely late morning, and we didn’t want to descend on them and overwhelm them immediately. We prefer to give people a little breathing room before we overwhelm them.

My littlest nephew was staying with my parents ’til Sunday, so it was my idea that we should take him to see Up. I’d heard good things about it all over the internet, and the internet is never wrong (except when it is, obv), so the spud and my mother and I went off to the movie theater a little after noon.

It was a very good movie, very sweet, very poignant, and I highly recommend it. My littlest nephew, who’s 4, seemed to really enjoy it (he’d like one of those collars that translates what a dog is saying, please, and put me down for two!)

(I’m pretty sure that that was the day when my littlest nephew informed me that “‘Please’ is the magic word that you say to make people do what you want them to do”. Dear internet: Please give me one million dollars!)

We headed back to my parents’ house for a little while, and then they headed out to see my nephew and his girlfriend and their baby. The spud and I headed over to hang out with Debbie and Liz at Debbie’s house. We didn’t stay too terribly late, I stopped on the way back to my parents’ house (the spud opted to stay and hang out with Brian for a little while) and checked out Liz’s new apartment. It’s seriously cute, and after hanging out for a little while, I headed back to my parents’, read for a while and then went to sleep.

Saturday

Saturday morning, the spud and I got up early and went yard-saling with Liz. Liz is new to the whole yard-saling thing, and with Debbie’s help she’s pretty much furnished her entire apartment with yard sale finds. A brand-new-looking couch for $15, an overstuffed chair for free, dishes, lamps, all sorts of things. We spent a few hours checking out yard sales. I found a chair that would go GREAT in the foster kitten room – $15! – but obviously there was no way to get it home.

I need to start hitting the yard sales at home, obviously.

I did buy a small pile of baby blankets, because I can either use them in the kitten room or cut them up and use them to clean with, I haven’t decided which yet. Liz had plans to go to Boston with friends, so after a while she bailed, and we picked up Debbie to go to Augusta and have lunch at Olive Garden.

As is always the way when we eat at Olive Garden, we ordered an appetizer, and after the appetizer and salad and breadsticks, we weren’t much interested in our main courses. I got shrimp and chicken carbonara, picked out all the shrimp and most of the chicken, then sent the leftovers home with Debbie in case Brian was interested in eating what was left.

We dropped Debbie off at home and went back to my parents’ house. We hung out in the basement for most of the afternoon, and then went upstairs to impatiently await the arrival of my oldest nephew, his girlfriend, and their wee baby. They showed up, and I waited my turn to hold the baby, and no sooner did I get my hands on that child than he went to sleep.

I seem to have that effect on babies.

They stayed for a few hours, and we all took turns getting barfed upon (I had no idea that baby barf, when comprised of breast milk, is a whole different animal than when it’s comprised of formula. It’s not 1/10th as nasty as baby barf from formula. That right there might have compelled me to breast feed the spud when she was a baby. I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll say it again – if I had it to do over again, I would totally breast feed. Probably.) I got my hands on that baby again, and eventually put him to sleep again.

Just call me the baby whisperer, right? (Or, more likely, very boring to babies!)

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Sunday

Brian graduated!

I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to get a picture of him sitting on the bleachers with his co-graduates that at one point after they’d filed in and sat down, I stood on my chair and snapped pictures (the woman sitting behind me was worried the chair would tip over and send me to the floor, and kindly held onto my chair so that wouldn’t happen!). We got to meet and sit with Brian’s adorable girlfriend.

I have to say that that was probably the fastest graduation I’ve ever been to. There were speeches by the top three students, a speech by the advisor, possibly the principal spoke (I don’t remember), and the giving-out of the diplomas, and we were out of there in less than an hour and a half. There were less than 100 students in Brian’s graduating class, but still – amazing!

The spud and I went back to Debbie’s house to change into more comfortable clothes, and then headed over to my brother’s house. We hung out with my nephew/ his girlfriend/ the baby/ my brother/ and my parents for a few hours. I got to hold the baby a few times, but for once (I think; I could be remembering wrong) I didn’t put him to sleep!

I also got to see my brother’s cats, Dulcinea and Gizmo. Apparently it was dinnertime for them, so they came out of hiding to be fed by Mireya.

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My brother made dinner for us – the MOST fabulous seafood enchiladas. I got half an enchilada to eat, and before I’d swallowed the first bite, I knew I was going to go back and get that other half! God, it was good. I’m drooling just thinking about it!

We headed home after a bit, and I think the spud and I just hung out at my parents’ for the evening.

Monday

Monday morning came way too early. The spud had started to not feel well on Sunday, and Monday morning we knew she was developing a cold. We left my parents’ house around 7:30, stopped by to pick Debbie up, and headed for Rhode Island. We got there in pretty good time, and went to the mall down the road from the spud’s house (she lives a stone’s throw of the RI/ Mass border). We ate lunch at the Italian restaurant there – a very good lunch indeed – and then did a little shopping at the mall. Debbie had a coupon for Victoria’s Secret (Debbie, for those of you who don’t know her, ALWAYS has a coupon.), so she bought a few things for Danielle at VS. The spud was clearly not feeling well, so after a quick turn around Bath and Body Works, we took her home.

I helped her bring her stuff upstairs to her apartment (which she shares with her father and stepmother), gave her a hug, and headed back to Maine.

I don’t know how long it took us to get back to Maine – it seemed to take forever, but that could be because every friggin’ time we left the interstate to find something to drink or to pee, we couldn’t find a McDonald’s or gas station to save our LIVES and had to drive for miles and miles. I think that if the McDonald’s isn’t located within half a mile of the exit, they shouldn’t be allowed to put a goddamn sign advertising it.

I dropped Debbie off, and got to my parents’ house, to find out that they’d spent a few hours in the middle of the day babysitting for my nephew’s son. They’d originally intended to leave for Maryland Monday evening, but put it off ’til Tuesday morning due to the impending bad weather.

Tuesday

One of the things I’d made a point of mentioning that I wanted to do, was go to LL Bean. My mother mentioned that there was a good restaurant (and some shopping) in Windham, so we decided to spend Tuesday shopping in Windham, eat lunch at Maine Bean, and then head to Freeport.

We only hit a few stores in Windham, but I really liked the gift shop my mother mentioned, Mills & Co. I bought a few things there, but trust me – if I lived in the area, I would have bought a ton of stuff! We had lunch at Maine Bean, as intended, and I decided it was time to have a lobster roll! My mother had the same, and let me tell you – that was one good lobster roll. I also bought a little container of small whoopie pies to take home, too.

We went to Freeport from there, and I think we wandered around LL Bean for a couple of hours. I swear I could spend all day in there and never get bored, it’s so big! I looked at the bags over and over again, and finally decided not to get a purse or a travel bag. I ended up buying some shirts, a couple of hooded sweaters, and looked hard at the SmartWool socks before I decided to wait and either buy them elsewhere or wait until the Christmas season, when I know someone who can get me a discount on them!

They’ve moved the LL Bean outlet store from where it was – across the parking lot from the main store – to a place down the street a ways, so we went there. I only ended up buying a water bottle. I picked up a leather bag and some shirts, but decided I didn’t need them, and put them back.

We were shopped out, and my parents had plans to go out to eat (and I had plans with Liz), so we headed back to their house.

That evening, Liz and I went to Applebee’s for dinner. We’d intended to go to Sea Basket for the best seafood in Maine, but they’re unfortunately closed on Tuesdays, so no Sea Basket for us this time around!

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(More about Tuesday, here.)

Wednesday

Shopping with Debbie.

(I did not, by the way, actually buy those “Boogie Wipes”, just snapped a picture of them!)

In the evening, my parents and I met Brian at our favorite Chinese restaurant in Brunswick (China Rose? I think?), and then I hugged Brian goodbye and he left. We headed toward my brother’s house, but stopped at the base on the way. I haven’t been on the Navy base in Brunswick in years and years, and I was amazed at how much it’s changed. They knocked down the barracks! They built new apartments for the enlisted men and women! They built adorable townhouses!

(According to my father, they recently finished a multi-million-dollar hangar. Now the base is in the process of closing. Your tax dollars at work, folks!)

We finished our tour of the base and then headed over to my brother’s house. I’d burned a disc of pictures of the baby – and of Brian’s graduation – for him, and we sat around and talked for an hour or so.

We left as it was starting to get dark. At my parents’ house, I packed my suitcase (which didn’t take much time at all – never does, really), talked to Fred on the phone, and was in bed by 10:00.

Thursday

Got up at 3:30, showered, dressed, finished packing, and we were out the door by 4:01. We got to Portland in no time flat, I checked in, dropped my suitcase off at the screening thingy, and got through Security in no time flat. Plane left on time, landed in Dulles, I got a breakfast sandwich at Five Guys, read some junky magazine goodness, plane left Dulles on time, and at 9:40 I was home.

Now THAT is how you fly from Point A to Point B to Point C!

Once home, I unpacked, got groceries, went to the post office, and scrubbed down the kitchen counters. By the evening, I felt like I’d never been away from home at all.

And now you’re caught up!

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Guess who’s about to go off and be spayed and neutered???

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Guess who also refused to pose nicely so I could get a picture of all three of them??

Brats.

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“Whut?”

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: For the record, that’s the sort of thing that gives me a fucking stroke.
2004: Oh, Rayford Steele, you manly stud.
2003: Now, do I look like the kind of gal who enjoys hiking?
2002: Some people have wild sex dreams. I dream that I’m chatting with my husband and kissing him goodbye for the day. Somebody stop me!
2001: No entry.
2000: No entry.

6/23/09 – Vacation Recap, Part 2

by @ Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009. Filed under Fostering, vacation

Notes regarding comments from yesterday’s entry:

Possibly if I’d had more than 20 minutes or so sleep the night I spent in Dulles, LaGuardia wouldn’t have been such a hellhole to me. As it was, I was ready to throw up my hands, give up, and begin wandering the streets of New York (assuming LaGuardia is actually located in New York. Which I’m not sure it is.).

And yeah, probably if I’d driven, I would have made it to Maine quicker. Actually, if I’d realized when they first started delaying my flight that I was going to end up spending the night in the airport, I would have rented a car and driven to Maine. It’s a 10 – 12 hour drive (or thereabouts) and I would have arrived in Maine before my flight left Dulles the next morning. At the very least, I could have driven for a few hours, stayed in a hotel, and then driven the rest of the way the next day.

Y’all are awfully sweet for offering your extra rooms and couches. I’ll certainly keep you in mind next time I travel! 🙂

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Thursday.

So after 12 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling mostly refreshed and ready to hit the road. I took my shower, and my mother and I were on our way to Rhode Island by 8:30 or so. We weren’t in a big hurry, because the GPS and Google Maps agreed that the drive would take 3 hours and 15 minutes, and the spud had a doctor appointment in the morning. We stopped in Portland for breakfast at IHOP, and then hit the road for real.

We made it to Rhode Island in pretty good time, and that goddamn GPS got us right to the street the spud lives on, but once we turned on the street, she said “You have reached your destination” all smug-like, and I was all “Um, wha? Here? Where is she?” The GPS just smirked at me and said “Oh, you think it’s so funny to mock me and take exits I don’t tell you to take, then whine about having to PEE when I tell you to turn around? Let’s see how you do on your own, Madame Hilarity!” I had to dig the Google Maps printout out of my purse to see what her exact street address was, and it was about half a mile down the road.

She was waiting for us (I’d called to let her know we were close), and we loaded up the car and then talked about where we were going for lunch. She mentioned that there was a Friendly’s nearby, so off we went.

It was nice to see her – it’s been about six months since she was in Alabama after Christmas – and we ate lunch and chatted and caught up with what’s going on with her and what’s going on in her life (in short, you nosy people: working a lot, going to school, has a boyfriend). We left from Friendly’s around 2 in the afternoon, headed back to Maine.

Things went well, we made a few bathroom stops and the traffic around Boston sucked, and we were getting back a lot slower than we’d gotten there, but when you’re driving around a big-ass city during rush hour, what can you really expect, right?

The problem came not long after we crossed the New Hampshire – Maine border. I started feeling very, very gassy – the high-up gas, not the down-low about-to-be-a-fart gas – and it was very painful. I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch, and usually if I’m going to have food-related gas, it happens within the first hour, sometimes two. By the time the gas got really bad, it had been three hours since I’d eaten.

But things got even more fun.

We were on 295 North, and we had just passed the last Freeport exit, when traffic came to a complete stop. Turns out, FIVE MILES up the road, they were going from two lanes to one, and traffic was severely backed up. There was no exit between Freeport and Brunswick, and there was no way to turn around, so we could only go forward. And forward we went, incredibly, amazingly slowly. Crawwwwwwling.

The gas got worse.

And then, to my horror, I started gagging. And I started barfing. Inching down the road, I was throwing up into my hand while the spud and my mother searched desperately for something I could use to barf into.

“Pull over!” my mother said and “Just pull over, Mom!” the spud said, and I said “NO FUCKING WAY!”

There was no way on earth I was going to pull over to the side of the road, even just for a few minutes, because pulling over to the side of the road and parking meant there would be no forward progress, and all I wanted to do was get the fuck home.

My mother found a pack of tissues in her purse and handed them to me, and I wiped my hand off (up side to having had weight loss surgery: if you’re barfing almost 4 hours after you’ve eaten, there’s nothing at all present in your pouch which you can barf up. I barfed up a handful of foam.) and stuck the tissues in an empty cup.

Twenty minutes later, off I went again.

“I never EVER barf in the car!” I said to my mother during the brief period when I was feeling better. “The only other time I’ve barfed in the car, you were with me! This must be your fault!”

(She wasn’t convinced.)

We finally made it off 295 and were headed down the road that means it’s just ten minutes to my parents’ house when the gas that had been rumbling around in my gut finally made an exit.

“Sorry,” I said, blushing. I rolled down the window on my side of the car, which resulted in the wind rushing into the car from outside, snatching up the noxious odor, which bypassed my mother completely, and slammed it into the spud’s face.

(A story we recounted, and I do not exaggerate here, at least five times over the course of the weekend.)

We finally made it to my parents’ house, and as I pulled into the driveway and parked, the gagging and retching began anew.

I’d intended to take the spud over to see Debbie and Brian, but I felt like such total shit that I begged off. Brian came over to see the spud, and then they went off to hang out for a while, and I went to bed. The gas and the nausea eventually abated, and I went to bed and slept like the dead.

To be continued…

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Look who’s back!

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Friday, I went and got them back from the foster mom who was caring for them while I was in Maine. I don’t know if they remembered me or not (I’d guess not, but who knows?), but they were certainly willing to be held and kissed.

I kept them in the foster room overnight, and then Saturday morning we let them out to roam the house. These guys are THE most laid-back kittens we’ve ever had, I swear. When Fred opened the door to let them out, they immediately came out and started exploring. It’s been my experience that kittens, when they’re let out, are at first wary and slink around, looking at everything. Not these guys! These guys were like “Hey! More room to explore!”

The funny thing is that with the entire house to explore, they’ve ended up spending the majority of their time in the computer room with me, sleeping on my desk or by the door. All kittens ALWAYS end up in the computer room! It’s apparently a house rule that our cats are whispering to them when we’re not paying attention.

2009-06-22 (9)

2009-06-22 (8)
Favorite thing to do: smack the blinds cord back and forth and back and forth AND back and forth!

2009-06-22 (5)

2009-06-22 (6)

2009-06-22 (7)

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2009-06-23 (1)
Miz Poo does not approve of this letting-the-kittens-run-free business.

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Previously
2008: Taking a few impromptu days off.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: I’ll try to drum up some drama for tomorrow, m’kay?
2004: (For the record, I do vacuum out there every couple of months…)
2003: A Day in the Life
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: I will be hurting bad tomorrow, though.

6/22/09 – Vacation Recap, part 1

by @ Monday, June 22nd, 2009. Filed under vacation

My vacation recap, in short (ha ha HA!):

Tuesday & Wednesday: Left home. My flight left Huntsville at almost 11, made it to Dulles with time to spare. I had a three-hour layover, which I whined extensively about before I left home, and so karma said “You want something to cry about? Let me see what I can whip up for you.” First the flight was delayed by half an hour. Then it was delayed by an hour and a half. And then for a few hours it would get pushed back a little more. For a while it looked like the flight was always going to be two hours off. Then I was sitting there during the time in the evening when no flights were going out at all due to thunderstorms, and I idly glanced up to see that the flight was no longer listed on the monitor at the gate at all. I grabbed my stuff and went to the big monitor – the one that lists all outgoing flights – and saw a big flashing “CANCELLED” after my flight. I hauled ass to customer service and ended up second in line.

There was a customer service rep who was directing people to the computer terminals to the side of the customer service desk, but when she heard that I (and the guy in front of me) were going to Portland, she told us that she wasn’t able to pull anything up on the computer terminal, so we should just wait in line. We were waiting patiently for a customer service rep to become available, when a United agent showed up and said that she could help the next few people around the corner at the gate.

Like a goddamn idiot, I followed the guy in front of me. And I stood there for – I shit you not, I checked the clock on my cell phone three thousand times – FORTY MINUTES while they searched for a way to get that guy and his friend to Portland. When they found a way, there was an additional wait while they discussed AT LENGTH how he’d paid for his ticket. Apparently there were certain “points” involved and something special needed to be done and all I wanted to do was stab someone or break something (I think that throwing my phone on the floor, stomping on it, and bellowing “COME THE FUCK ON ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME JESUS MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST ALMOTHERFUCKINGMIGHTY FUCK YOUR FUCKING POINTS FUCK FUCK FUCK FUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!” would have been very cathartic.

But I refrained.)

She finally got him squared away (and he was apologetic, but I think he saw the murder in my eyes, because he was apologetic as he ran away from me) and then it was my turn. The guy in front of me had opted to fly into Boston that night and then drive to Portland. I wanted to do that, but of course – OF MOTHERFUCKING COURSE – he and his friend had gotten the last seats. The only way they could get me to Maine was to fly me to LaGuardia the next morning, and from there to Portland. When I shrugged and said okay, the gate agent gave me a look of surprise that I didn’t fully understand until the next day. See, I’ve never been through LaGuardia. I DIDN’T KNOW.

So I got my ticket booked and I called Fred and I ranted to him, and then I dithered about whether I wanted to spend the night in the airport or get a hotel room. My usual rule of thumb is that if you’re going to be stuck in an airport for five hours or less, it’s best to just stay in the airport. Longer, and it’s worth getting a hotel room. I had twelve hours until my flight was to leave, but I really didn’t want to spend the money. I finally decided to get a hotel room and called Fred to go on Expedia and book me a room, but he wasn’t able to find me anything for less than two hundred bucks.

The airport for the night, then.

I took the shuttle to the main terminal (I’d been hanging out in Concourse B most of the afternoon, because it’s big and shiny and has lots of stores and restaurants), but as soon as I realized you had to leave the secured area to get to the main part of the terminal, I turned right around and went back to Concourse B. I loathe going through security, and I wanted to avoid having to do it again if at all possible.

Back in Concourse B, I went to Brookstone and bought a charger for my cell phone. Knowing that I’d be carrying a laptop and the big (heavy) camera through the airport, I’d opted to pack all nonessential items rather than put them in my laptop. I’d planned to bring my cell phone charger, just in case, but Fred better-idea’d me and pooh-poohed the necessity of packing a cell phone charger for a day of traveling, and I was suckered in by his stupid fucking placid utter reasonable certainty of the silliness of such an idea, and packed it instead.

(Fred has been advised to keep his fucking better ideas to himself in the future.)

While I was in Brookstone, I bought an organizer case that had wheels on the bottom. I’d been shlepping my carry-on bag, which contained my laptop and big-ass heavy camera, all afternoon long, and my shoulder was painful to the touch. That organizer case, even if I never use it again in my entire life, was the best thing I’ve ever bought. EVER.

I wandered the concourse some more, ate dinner, and wandered yet some more. Given that Concourse B was so bright and shiny and had so many stores, I opted to stay there for the night. For future reference, if you’re stuck in a big airport for the night, don’t be suckered in by the big and shiny concourses. I was FREEZING in B, even though I’d bought an oversized sweatshirt. If I’d gone over to A, there were piles of blankets and pillows by one of the gates. It was also warmer over there, and someone had actually put up a TENT. All the seats in A and B were the divided kind, so you couldn’t lay down and get comfortable. Had I gone over to D, they have the old seats that don’t have dividers, and I could have gotten plenty comfortable.

Do some exploring, is what I’m saying. Don’t get stuck in your big and shiny comfort zone.

By 10 or so, things had started to shut down, so I found a place to plug in my cell phone charger, and I called Fred and talked to him for a while, then I talked to Debbie for a while, then I texted with the spud for a while. Once my cell phone was charged, I began wandering the concourse, looking for a quiet place to settle down for the night.

What ultimately ended up happening is that I’d sit and watch an episode of Gossip Girls (still working through Season 1) on my iPod, then I’d get up and wander the concourse for a while. Then I’d sit and try to get in a position where I could doze, wouldn’t be able to doze, and would get up wander the concourse for a while. Sit and watch another episode of Gossip Girls, wander the concourse, lather-rinse-repeat. I opened up my laptop several times to see if I could connect to the internet, but I couldn’t, and in the end I ran out of power and see above about not having a cord to charge the laptop with so I couldn’t even fire up the laptop and play a rousing game of Snood!

Occasionally another stranded passenger would wander through the airport or a cleaner would go by with a vacuum cleaner or cleaning cart, but for the most part, that was one deserted concourse.

Around 3:00, I decided that FUCK THIS SHIT, and I curled up against the wall, out of the way, and I managed to doze off for about 20 minutes straight, then eeked another 40 minutes of on-and-off dozing. I dropped off hard for about ten minutes, and woke to find approximately 30 people in my general vicinity. Turned out, I was near the gate that hosted the earliest flight of the day, and people wanting to get to San Salvador were waiting to board their plane.

Since I couldn’t sleep with so many people around, I got up, wandered the concourse some more, watched some more Gossip Girls, sat and stared off into space, and watched the clock on the wall slowwwwly tick off the hours. I finally wandered over to the A concourse to see if there was anything interesting going on over there, and that’s when I saw the tent set up. I snapped that picture, then had to pee, so I went off to pee and when I got back the tent had been taken down and whoever had been inside was gone. I was disappointed, because I was VERY curious to know how exactly he’d conveniently happened to be carrying a tent with him.

The time finally came when I could see which gate my flight would be leaving from – D concourse – and after I got breakfast (I kind of wanted Dunkin Donuts, but not surprisingly their breakfast items are rather low on protein, so I opted for an egg and cheese sandwich at Five Guys) I boarded the bus to get to D. I found my gate, boarded the plane with no issues, and off we went to LaGuardia.

I don’t know what I did so wrong in my last life that I would end up in LaGuardia, but I will tell you that I wandered around that goddamn motherfucking asshole of the universe, on the verge of bursting into tears, for half an hour before I found someone who could tell me that I had to catch a bus to the terminal from whence my flight to Portland would be leaving. In Dulles, nice shiny bright Dulles, if you had to leave one terminal, there were many signs telling you where to go and what to do. In LaGuardia, apparently you’re just supposed to KNOW that if you go wandering out to the front of the terminal you’ll eventually stumble upon a bus that will SOME DAY get you where you need to go.

The surprised look that the United agent in Dulles gave me when I was willing to fly through LaGuardia makes SO much sense now. With the entire motherfucking internet as my witness, I will never fly through LaGuardia again. FUCK YOU, LAGUARDIA.

(And now I’ll never be able to get another flight that does NOT go through LaGuardia, right?)

I found my gate, and then the gate agent announced that there was going to be a delay – the plane I was supposed to fly out on hadn’t arrived yet, and it’d only be a ten minute delay.

Which is when I realized that I’d died and for my many sins during my lifetime was doomed to wander the airports of America, always thinking I was juuuust about to arrive at my destination, but never actually getting there.

To my surprise, they did board the plane about ten minutes late. The plane pushed back from the gate. And we spent 45 minutes inching along. AND THEN the pilot announced that there were 20 planes ahead of us, and it’d probably be another 45 minutes.

And then we left. And I arrived. And Debbie picked me up, dropped me off in Brunswick to pick up my rental car. I went over to her house to see Brian, then I headed over to my parents’ house, greeted them, ate ham Italian sandwiches from the Kitty Korner, struggled mightily to stay awake until 7, talked to Fred for ten minutes, and then slept like the dead for 12 hours.

Thus ended the first two days of my vacation. And when one of your days of vacation gets all fucked up by travel delays, the rest of the vacation flies by like the wind, believe you me.

To be continued…

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2009-06-22 (2)

2009-06-22 (1)
Newt’s glad to have me home. Fred just doesn’t do Snackin’! Time! right. He told me so!

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Previously
2008: No entry.
2007: No Mister Boogers.
2006: No entry.
2005: Oh, the hilarity that ensues when your car and foster kitten have the same name! I could almost hear the laugh track in the background.
2004: PMS, anyone?
2003: No entry.
2002: No entry.
2001:No entry.
2000: Charmed life, have I mentioned?

6/19/09 – Friday

by @ Friday, June 19th, 2009. Filed under CAE, Life, vacation

So yes, I am home again! My flight landed at 9:40, and by noon I had unpacked, gone to get groceries, gone to the post office, and scooped the litter boxes. I made dinner, I vacuumed the house, I ignored the fact that the bathrooms need to be cleaned and the furniture needs to be dusted. I dozed in front of CSI.

It was like I’d never left, really.

If I have anything to say about it, I will only fly early-morning flights from here on out. It was nice to reach my destination before 10 am, and even if one of my flights had been delayed, they would have had all day to get me on another flight. Besides, when your flight is first thing in the morning (I had to get up yesterday morning at 3:30 to leave the house by 4:00, to get to the airport before 5:00) you don’t have to sit around and wait for it to be time to leave, right? Right!

It was freakin’ cold in Maine, and even though I looked at weather.com before I packed, being in 90+ degree heat in Alabama makes you think that temperatures in the 60s in Maine is perfect capri and shorts weather. I wore a pair of jeans on the plane and packed nothing but capris and shorts. I ended up wearing the same pair of jeans the entire time I was in Maine (washed ’em every other day, of course). It actually wasn’t so bad – I told my mother before I left that next time I visit I’ll pack two pairs of jeans and three shirts and underwear, and call it good enough.

(I’m sure I’ll have forgotten that wise idea next time, though. I always do.)

With the heat index yesterday, it was over 100 degrees here. (That’s VERY FUCKING HOT is all you Celcius types need to know.)

Thanks, you guys, for the heads-up on the Zicam recall. The problem is with the nasal spray and nasal swabs, and the kind I got was the chewable kind. It seems to be helping – I haven’t developed a full-blown cold in any case, just feel achy and tired and like my glands are swollen, and who the hell knows – that could be from the traveling and the horrific temperature change. We shall see.

Today I’m doing laundry, and I have to go get a few more groceries. I was going to weed the tomatoes this morning, but I’m not gonna (shaddup, Fred), I’ve got too much other stuff I prefer to do. This afternoon I’m going to pick up the foster kittens from the foster mother who cared for them while I was gone. I can’t wait to see the little monkeys!

So I’ll answer a few comments and call it an entry!

Oh, and there’ll be a few days of my vacation recap next week, then things will go back to normal ’round here.

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I have to give you kudos for pressure canning at all; I’m of the belief that I’d blow myself to kingdom come, so I’ll stick to jamming and call it a day.

I was very nervous to try it, but I have to say – once you try it, you find out it’s honestly not that hard at all! If I can do it without blowing up the house, so can anyone else. I guarantee it!

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Tell Fred to count his blessings. My daughter risked her life, running onto a busy 4-lane highway, to save a turtle. He thanked her by peeing on her. In case you’ve ever wondered, turtle pee is some noxious stuff.

Yeah, Fred’s been peed on by a turtle, too. And a few weeks ago – the week before that turtle came wandering into our yard – we were going somewhere and there was a turtle in the middle of the road. He stopped to move it to the side of the road and it snapped at him, and I think he got turtle poop smeared on his hand. Whatever it was, it was NASTY smelling. Fucking turtles. (Won’t stop him from saving the next turtle he sees, I guarantee it!)

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I can’t believe that you teased me by bragging about your new hair cut and color and didn’t include a photo.

It wasn’t intentional – I just used the medium-brown color, and it came out… medium brown! Like so:

2009-06-13 (1)

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I did it! I had a bitchypoo dream! I was visiting you on Crooked Acres and it was raining, I think because all of your posts lately talk about rain, and you took me outside to sit on the porch at dusk to see the real secret of Crooked Acres which was….. hundreds of cats (that all come trotting home at dusk apparently…) that you were not blogging about because you didn’t want us readers to think you were weird enough to have more that 10 cats (even in my dream I was thinking Too Late! inside my head.) You were going on and on about this one’s name and that one’s personality and where that one came from and how you even had to edit some of the pictures that you posted to crop the secret cats out of the pics you posted so NO ONE WOULD KNOW! So tell me, dream or prophesy?

Oh, I’d never ever withhold information from my readers. Never ever. Nope, not me!

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Oh, you ARE writing! The last post I got on my Bloglines feed was the camera pic of the tent… and then I come here and there is more. Why you hide? Us internet peoples are totally friendly. And not at all intense or weird or stalkery. Anyway, I am now subscribed to three feeds of yours; two are broked (technical term) and the third (which is your 0.92 feed up thataways) works but is short posts not long. I don’t know why any of this is and instead I will sit here hopefully with big eyes in the sure knowledge that Fred will SPRING upon this problem and FIX IT GOOD. Right? Right?

Those of you who read me via Bloglines, are you seeing this? The only thing I did before I left for Maine was to change the settings on my site so that the last 5 entries would show up on the front page rather than the most recent one. I just went back and put it back the way it was – I don’t know if that fixed it or not, though. And I don’t know why only short posts are showing up, either – I have it set so that the RSS feeds will show the entire post. It’s a mystery to me!

I can tell you that everything’s working fine in Google Reader.

And Fred won’t spring upon the problem and fix it, because Fred’s not the go-to guy when it comes to RSS feeds and such (probably because he doesn’t care about that stuff and fondly remembers the days when everything was hand-coded and he had to walk uphill both ways to get to the computer).

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Hey, does the LL Bean place have their bamboo towels? I love love love them and desperately need new ones.

I’m trying to remember, but I honestly don’t think I ventured into the house section of the outlet store, so I don’t know. They had just about everything else – I carried around a leather purse for the longest time before I put it back because I refuse to spend $89 for a purse!

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That is AWESOME what the hair-cutting place is doing. Good on them! But, what is proof of unemployment down there? We have EI here (or, pogey as they used to call it!) but – what does the states have?

That’s an excellent question – I’m assuming that people who are drawing Unemployment down here get some sort of statement? Or something? Anyone know the answer to this?

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I am so close to the Spud that if she acts up, I can be sent over there to smack her around a little. hee hee.

Don’t tempt me! 🙂

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Hey you were in my neck of the woods. Haven’t seen the sign at Emerald Square yet…did you hit the Providence Place Mall while you were here..it’s HUGE…

We didn’t get a chance to visit the Providence Place Mall this time around, though the spud did mention it, and that it’s huge. Maybe next time I go down to get her, I’ll spend the night and we can actually do some sight-seeing. I’d love to go back to Newport and Middletown to see how it’s changed over the past 13 years.

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Hey Robyn, you do have a water view at Crooked Acres. But only when it rains.

Ain’t THAT the truth. Too bad we don’t have a pool, we’d have a water view year-round! (This is the first summer I’m really, really wishing we had a pool!)

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Welcome home, Robyn. I, for one, am relieved. Things just didn’t seem right without you in residence at Crooked Acres. I’m sure Fred would agree. Speaking of Fred, when are we going to get a new picture of him? Has he suddenly become camera shy? We have kitty, pig and chicken pics galore (which I love), and even the occasional teaser shot of you, but NO FRED. Hmph.

I think Fred would agree with you – his life kind of goes to shit when I’m away, we’ve discovered. He had to do all his work and mine too – and he finds he doesn’t care for having to make his own dinner, do his own laundry, scoop the litter boxes, clean the house.

When I talked to him on the phone the night before I came home, he said “I hope you aren’t under the impression you’re coming home to a clean house.” I wasn’t. But it only took me a few hours to clean the kitchen and vacuum, and just that little bit of cleaning makes it look about 200 times better around here. Fred says I’m his egg-selling good luck charm. He sold 7 dozen eggs in the entire time I was gone – and yesterday between the two of us, we sold 11 dozen eggs!

2009-05-19 (24)

This is probably about as much as you’ll see of Fred these days. He refuses to pose for pictures because he’s a hater.

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My parents don’t have any cats, but they’ve got them a Benji dog and he’s a character.

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2009-06-19 (2)

2009-06-19 (1)

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Previously
2008: You’re breeding bacteria that is going to TAKE OVER THE FUCKING WORLD.
2007: Since it’s wet outside, I don’t have to weed today. DARN.
2006: I hate that fucker.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: Then, I stopped and thought about it, which hurt a little.
2002: I was an errand-running fool today.
2001: You always know you’re going to have a nice, clean system the next day if you’ve eaten you a big ol’ helpin’ of okra.
2000: Oh, that’s right. That was my bright idea.

Home again, home again.

by @ Thursday, June 18th, 2009. Filed under Life


Home again, home again., originally uploaded by RobynAnderson.

And Miz Poo is clearly beside herself with the thrill of having me back! It’s good to be home!

“Her shocking past”

by @ Thursday, June 18th, 2009. Filed under Life


"Her shocking past", originally uploaded by RobynAnderson.

I think ‘lurid’ would been a better word than ‘shocking.’ I wasn’t shocked by the stories of her past, but I sure was lured into reading them. (RHoNYC’s Danielle I’m talking about, here.) Sitting in concourse A, waiting to board the flight to Huntsville. They’re claiming it’s on time, but I sense Dulles isn’t through with me yet.

[Bitchypoo is peeing-her-pants excited to be powered by WordPress.]